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A while back, I spotted a listing (a re-sale) in this Logan Circle condominium building located at 1209 O Street. Glancing at the shots on the MLS system, I thought it looked all wrong—-just totally incongruous with the old-fashioned, Victorian townhouses nearby, like Disney had commissioned a D.C. rowhouse. I showed pictures to a co-worker, who disagreed. I embrace architectural whimsy, he stated.  What a blow. Critique obliterated.

Then last week, I came across the building while strolling through the neighborhood. It makes a better impression in person, but there’s something about it that still irked me. That multi-colored, stripy brick look, plus the huge windows with the divided glass…It reminded me of a mall, or perhaps a high school that looks like a mall—-a design style slowly sweeping across Montgomery County. I grew up there, and my mother happens to teach public school. So I’ve seen a few school buildings in my day.

I make my case below. The building’s still interesting—-architectural whimsy comes in many forms.

Walt Whitman High School

Bethesda Chevy Chase High School

Winston Churchill High School

Condo images by Ruth Samuelson